Books in the Series

Understanding and Teaching American Slavery

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Bethany Jay and Cynthia Lynn Lyerly, eds.
Foreword by Ira Berlin

“Many instructors find the subject of slavery intimidating. This volume provides them with the necessary background content, as well as effective and interesting sources and methods, for engaging students and steering them away from common misperceptions.”—Roy E. Finkenbine, author of Sources of the African-American Past

No topic in U.S. history is as emotionally fraught as the nation’s centuries-long entanglement with slavery. How can teachers get students to understand the racist underpinnings of that institution—and to acknowledge its legacies in contemporary America? How can they overcome students’ shame, anger, guilt, or denial? How can they incorporate into the classroom important primary sources that may contain obsolete and racist terms, images, and ideas? This book, designed for college and high school teachers, is a critical resource for understanding and teaching this challenging topic in all its complexity.

Opening with Ira Berlin’s reflections on ten elements that are essential to include in any course on this topic, Understanding and Teaching American Slavery offers practical advice for teaching specific content, utilizing sources, and getting students to think critically. Contributors address, among other topics, slavery and the nation’s founders, the diverse experiences of the enslaved, slavery’s role in the Civil War, and the relationship between slavery and the northern economy. Other chapters offer ideas for teaching through slave narratives, runaway ads, spirituals, films, and material culture. Taken together, the essays in the volume help instructors tackle problems, discover opportunities, and guide students in grappling with the ugliest truths of America’s past. READ MORE . . . 

Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History

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“Leila J. Rupp and Susan K. Freeman have assembled a terrific book for anyone teaching U.S. history to high school or college students. . . . If the task of teaching LGBT history in the classroom seems daunting, the first section of the book presents first-hand accounts of high school and college teachers who have taken the plunge. They represent a broad range of teaching experiences: public and private schools, affluent and impoverished student bodies, hostile and sympathetic parents and administrators, survey and elective courses, tight and flexible time constraints. Each teacher attests to the importance this history had for their students. . . . Especially helpful are wonderful examples of strategies to achieve specific goals.” Claire Lyons, Univ. of Maryland.
Full Review: The American Historian, Feb 2015


Finalist for a 2015 Lambda Award.

In a similar way to racial/ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups, queer lives first appear as “sidebar” stories, which are important to introducing, say, prominent individuals or significant acts of protest. But this is just a beginning. Our book will help illuminate important figures and events, with essays by experts who possess substantial teaching experience. In addition, the book will be a one-of-a-kind guide for teachers, helping them to understand how the central narratives of U.S. history speak to queer lives and, just as importantly, vice versa. Read more . . .

Understanding and Teaching the Vietnam War


“This collection makes good on what it sets out to do: help high school and college teachers think about understanding and teaching the Vietnam War in new and innovative ways. There is a clear need for this kind of hands-on volume.”

—Mark Philip Bradley, author of Vietnam at War

“[A] much needed guide to help teachers at all levels navigate the complexities of the Vietnam War and the ever-increasing material available about it.”
History Teacher 47, no. 3 (May 2014)

Honorable Mention for the 2015 Franklin Buchanan Prize from the Association for Asian Studies and the Committee for Teaching About Asia

Named to the list of “Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2013-2014,” Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 51, no. 9 (May 2014): 1557.